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E-Pao! Opinion - Allegations Against Truth

Allegations Against Truth

By: Elf Hmar *



The comical allegation of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) that was published in The Sangai Express on the 3rd of May where it states–"The recent rape allegations of 21 Hmar women at Lungthulien by 18 cadres of the MPA and KCP is one such atrocious allegations raised in cahoots with the Indian Government" is another blatant uttering where it fails to realize that such accusation holds no ground when truth firmly surfaces and face them resolutely. How much one tries to subdue truth, it always resurfaces again and again to strongly fight back falsity, grasping it by its neck and wrestling it down until it can no longer move and lays rotted where it falls. It's amusing though–how the game has been planned and played once one perceives thoroughly–the misty yet un-foolproof plans. The UNLF, rather than continuing on its denial propaganda to hypnotize the already hooded valley civil society groups, should try different strategy to dilute and pacify its heinous 'mistakes' by accepting the crime of what it's Meiranba, Machaton, Ali Khan, Nuhrul, Nanaocha, Dablo, Irabot, etc had done to the Hmar populace in Parbung sub-division.

Will such denial heal? No. Will such allegation truly serve the purpose of the UNLF? No. Such steadfast denials and allegations of the UNLF can only turn into a doom for its own. What alternative does that proposes? Definitely a rethinking and reformation of itself and its failed policy. It should not blame its failure to the Indian Army intelligence for it only demonstrate with shame their inefficiency and ineffectiveness in fighting its 'enemy'. Such rhetoric statements can only flatten it's own self-esteem.

And then again for those who have by now accepted the fact that the mass rape had indeed taken place but who still doubt the involvement of the UNLF in the act–the following will be a food for their hungry thoughts. The UNLF in its first press statement on the issue of mass rape (The Sangai Express, March 7, 2006) acknowledged the presence of a platoon of its MPA cadres along with 12 cadres of the KCP in their 'battefield' Parbung and that on January 16, 2006 (late) 2nd Lt Meiranba along with 6 other MPA cadres and 12 KCP cadres went to Lungthulien village and had beaten up the villagers.

The UNLF denied that its cadres tortured the villagers and raped the Hmar women in the same statement, which is of course what is expected from them to hide their disgraced image. There would definitely be suspicion within them right from the start that the 'allegation' can be genuine. And then again on January 23, 2006 (The Sangai Express), the UNLF through its press statement salutes its three cadres 2nd Lt L Meiranba alias Dinesh, private K Machaton alias Roshan and private Md Ali Khan alias Lashkar who died fighting the Indian security personnel at Parbung village on January 20, 2006.

Is not this self-evident that the UNLF and KCP cadres were indeed involved in human rights violations against the Hmar people during their annexation period of the remote villages? Is their desperate attempt to save their self 'tarnished image' more important than the 21 rape victims and many molested? Is their self-tarnished image more important than the 23 innocent lives killed by the landmines planted by them? Is the reclaiming of their self-tarnished image more important than the thousands of helpless villagers who were displaced to Mizoram to become refugees?

The continuing exodus of Hmar villagers from the areas is also without doubt not an allegation. Neither are the refugee camps that exist today in Mizoram; nor the thousands of them who are taking and continue to take refuge inside these camps. The displaced Hmar villagers are bon-a-fide citizens of state. The law of the land prohibits them to be forcefully displaced. They have no right to flee to Mizoram. And they have no right to permanently settle there. The displaced Hmar people's only right is to be repatriated and settled back on their rightful land–peacefully without anymore outsiders' interference on their lands.

They have their absolute rights over their lands. Their sacred lands should not be a regarded and be made 'battlefields' for revolutionary groups battling the Indian Army or rival revolutionary groups. This total lookdown and disregard of the hills, lands and soil of the Hmar is a direct insult to the Hmars in Manipur. The encroachers should either be driven off or if there are any right-thinkers amongst them, should pull off completely from the areas without further exploring to only exploit the lands and the people and which would only jeopardize the already fragile relationship more, as a result of the revolutionary groups' acts of monstrous crime.

Such lame excuses the 'devta' UNLF continues to construct around its already flimsy protective crust only unwrap more of its insidious policies, one of which unashamedly is to make use of the mass rape issue (as it has already been nationalized and internationalized) to pursue its now questionable struggle of 'liberating Manipur' from the clutches of the 'Indian Mahajans'. Nevertheless, such policy already undermines its so-called struggles as it evidently illustrates how fictitious it is its claimed struggle for the hill peoples in Manipur is. Let the hill peoples be, for once, their own selves and choose their own course of action. A sub-insurgency struggle is not a thing recommended at all.

Neither does the group tries to heal the pains that it's lustful, inhumane and barbarian cadres continues to inflict against the hill peoples, nor does it tries to amend its ways. It instead draws a well-structured 'Laksman Rekha' on how to continue on befriending, after which explore and exploit the hill peoples in Manipur. This 'X-rated File' of the UNLF had been carefully tucked somewhere in some underground strongbox, safe and away from prying eyes. Fortunately, so as to mention, the red-file had been incidentally unearthed and uncovered and made public for the good of all.

If the UNLF, along with KCP and other so-called revolutionary groups having their presence in the hills, is truly for integrating and liberating Manipur – they should accept their ongoing transgression against the Hmars. If a demilitarization of the Tipaimukh is being sought, they should without fail and any hesitation, call off its every single cadre before the Indian military completely militarize the hills to make their grounds and establishment for pending projects which may or may not be in the interest of the indigenous peoples living over the areas.

The same suggestion goes for the other valley-based insurgent groups who had taken refuge in the hills of Manipur. It will serve the revolutionary groups from the valleys three ways – firstly, the hill-based revolutionary groups will have to handle their tidbits by their own self and in the process annihilate themselves fighting the 'evil' Indian Army and secondly, they can come back to the hills to continue on occupying and establishing their safe bases and re-terrorize the hills after the Indian Army demilitarize, and thirdly, they will be able to build the relationship with the hill peoples that is a must for liberating Manipur. One cannot think of the materialization of a liberated Manipur without the complete backing of the peoples in the hills. It is nonsense to even think about it. And under the present context, it is just impossible. Time to wake up.

It is indeed interesting to make a note of the suggestion made by the banned militant outfit, the UNLF, of the International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) to intervene and verify the involvement of the UNLF on the 'alleged' mass rape of Hmar women in Tipaimukh. This was first suggested by the UNLF on 9th April 2006 that appeared in several newspapers. Again on 3rd May 2006 (The Sangai Express), the UNLF contented that "an independent body like the International Red Cross Society be roped in to verify the charges has been turned down by those who have raised the allegations. This shows that there is a sinister design behind the whole game plan."

However, the Hmar Inpui – an apex body of all Hmar organisations, released a press statement as a rejoinder to the UNLF suggestion of the ICRC on 13th April, 2006 (The Sangai Express) stating that, "...it has no objection to the involvement of any international organisation of repute in the eventuality of Central/ State Government's complete apathy and inability to handle the matter... while appreciating the ICRC's role in rehabilitation and in providing assistance and succor in times of natural disasters, conflict situation etc., the Hmar Inpui holds that there are more appropriate UN investigative agencies than ICRC who can handle crimes of rape and torture as in the present case...".

The conscious misinterpretation of the Hmar Inpui statement makes it quite understandable how hollow the allegations of the UNLF turn out to be. Not only did the Hmar Inpui, from the quoted statement, welcome the UNLF suggestion for the intervention of the ICRC, but also even suggest that there are also appropriate United Nations investigative agencies that handle crimes that the UNLF and KCP committed against the Hmar people. And the question remains–why had not the UNLF suggested the appropriate UN agencies at the first place not only to probe into the rape of 21 Hmar women, but also equally serious cases of displacement and landmines which are its own creations? Were there some sinister designs to make-believe the civil societies that its suggestion is a good suggestion? A must point to ponder over.

The UNLF 'childish' suggestion, if looked at from another angle, does raise an eyebrow on what the motives and interests of the UNLF may be. It may be that the UNLF can twist the hands of the Imphal chapter of the Red Cross, or that they have a mole inside who is none other than an empathizer of its movement? Another possibility may be that the suggestion itself is a planned move to cleverly try to exploit the Hmars sufferings and involve the United Nations to propagate their 'struggles'. If that is that then, it means that the UNLF by now had privately established the fact that its cadres had indeed committed a serious crime against the Hmars.

Knowing this and concluding that whoever (national or international enquiry commission or agencies) may be involved in the probe, they have everything to loose and nothing to gain. And so, the suggestion for involving the ICRC comes in. The UNLF has in mind that the ICRC, being an international agency, could in a way be able to internationalize their "struggle" while in the surface it tries to save a face against its human rights violations, but underneath lies the more carefully planned strategy mentioned. Moreover, the UNLF ought to know that even if it has empathizers within the ICRC, the ICRC is not that foolish to let (even if the ICRC give the green signal to verify the mass rape) anybody who already has contact in Manipur to investigate. It is understandable that the UNLF did not suggest human rights commissions in India, as it would mean discrediting its 'liberation struggles' against India's 'colonialism'. This is self-explanatory. Though a good one, it is undeniably a bad move, a child's play. Such immaturity. Let this be an indicator to grow up.

A per the notification by Joint Secretary (Home), Government of Manipur (29th April 2006), the time for submission of the Rajkhowa Commission of Inquiry report on the alleged mass rape at Parbung sub-division, has been extended for a month effective from May 17, 2006. That was all to it. No explanation on why the submission time has been extended as to the earlier notification that the report should be submitted within two months (i.e., May 17, 2006) after the institution of the said Judicial Enquiry (PTI, 20th March 2006).

Another question is to whom should the Rajkhowa Commission Report be submitted. It will not do much good for any sides if the report is to be submitted to the State administrator alone. The same should be submitted to the Central Government as well as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The irresponsible Manipur state government alone cannot be entrusted to handle such serious crime against humanity. And also, it is in everybody curiosity as to when the report is to be made public.

Lets not play futile games that not lessen but increase the pains and sufferings of the common people who are always the end-looser. Lets instead champion their causes genuinely. Lets stop playing games with innocent lives, end the reign of terror, and bring an end to inhumane torture and senseless killings. Let us raise our voice against the discrimination of rights of our fellow humans and discrimination against women.

Lets our humane conscience take over and be the sole winner.


* Elf Hmar contributes regularly to e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at elfhmar@yahoo.com
This article was webcasted on 11th May 2006.


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